The government has confirmed that the first of our Covid jabs will start dropping on Monday, after the shipment arrived in Sydney yesterday afternoon.
The Pfizer’s vaccine, which is the one that we will be receiving first, was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people 16 years and older and comes in two doses which need to be taken 21 days apart.
According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, more than 142,000 doses will be subject to security and quality assurance “in particular to ensure that temperature maintenance has been preserved throughout the course of the flight”.
Mr Hunt said the states are “magnificently prepared” to receive their allocation of vaccines, which will be determined based on population size.
Of the 80,000 doses that will be rolling out on Monday, 50,000 will be going to states and territories to be administered to frontline health and quarantine workers, and the other 30,000 will be given to aged and disability care residents and staff.
Following the first rollout, the majority of the population will actually receive the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (which has been shown to be 62 percent effective).
“We’d need to vaccinate almost everyone in Australia to achieve herd immunity with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which isn’t feasible,” epidemiologist at the University of Western Australia Zoe Hyde wrote for The Conversation recently.
According to Hyde, the only way we could get immunity in Australia, and an end to the coronavirus in our country, is to utilise several kinds of the jab. This is a “mammoth” task, she says.
“However, we’d perhaps only need to vaccinate 63 percent of the population with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine,” she continues.
“Using the planned combination of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine will still require an unfeasibly large proportion of the population to be vaccinated.”
So why are the rest of us getting the AstraZeneca version? Because a) it is being manufactured locally in Melbourne, and b) it doesn’t require strict storage specifications.
Find out more here.
Side note: The COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory and you will have the the choice not to vaccinate. The vaccine will be available for free to those who wish to be vaccinated, according to most recent reports. As for travelling, this is up to each individual airline.